A second attempt to negotiate the Rogers-Shaw merger with the Competition Bureau has failed.
“We are disappointed with this outcome and believe that litigation is both unnecessary and harmful to competition,” a joint statement from Rogers, Shaw, and Quebecor states.
The failed negotiations mean the companies are heading towards a hearing with the Competition Tribunal early next month.
“The Bureau’s unwillingness to meaningfully engage unduly delays lower wireless prices for Canadian consumers,” the statement says.
The Competition Bureau filed to block the merger in May, stating Rogers’ $26 billion takeover of Shaw would lead to higher costs for Canadians. In an attempt to address the concerns, the companies said they will sell Shaw’s wireless asset, Freedom Mobile, to Quebecor’s subsidiary Vidéotron. But the promised sale hasn’t led to resolutions.
Earlier this week, Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne, laid out two conditions for Vidéotron’s acquisition of Freedom: Quebecor must keep the acquired wireless licenses for 10 years and that wireless bills drop by 20 percent, keeping in line with lower phone bills seen in Quebec.
In their statement, Rogers, Shaw, and Quebecor reaffirm their commitment to both the Rogers-Shaw merger and the Freedom-Vidéotron deal.
“Once completed, our proposed series of transactions will positively transform the Canadian telecommunications industry in both the wireline and wireless segments,” the statement reads. “Together, these transactions will deliver world-leading, affordable telecommunications that Canadian consumers need and deserve for today and into the future.”
The hearing begins November 7th.